If you are like most entrepreneurs and business owners, you have a passion for what you do. Your role at your company and your daily rhythm have become such an integral part of who you are that it is nearly impossible to imagine not having your business (or your business not having you). But whether happily as part of a plan, or kicking and screaming, or very quietly lying down, some day you will exit your business. With some thought and planning today, that future event can be a much more happy and pleasant experience for you and those close to you.
I find that ultimately, the topic revolves around goals. Here are the main big picture business goals I hear from owners, and how each goal has an impact on long term planning:
Selling My Business for Top Dollar
If your goal is to maximize the value of your business and sell it, then your focus today should be on those areas that influence value. Growing profits, maintaining clean financials, building infrastructure and documenting your systems and processes are a few of the many ways you can increase the future value of your company. Getting a preliminary valuation of your business today can identify the exact areas you can improve to increase the sale price in the future.
Passing My Company To My Children
If your long-term plan is to include your children, you should look closely at your heirs’ interests and skills. Are they a good fit to take your company into the future? Also, be sure to talk to them about it. You need to make sure they are interested and that you are both on the same page about a future transition. The fact is that your child may not be the best option for your company, and your company may not be the best fit for them.
Leaving a Legacy
Perhaps your main objective is to leave the largest positive impression on your community that you possibly can. With your financial planner and estate attorney, determine the best way to maximize your earnings, the services of your company, and your personal convictions to make your city, state and beyond better places. Build these practices and systems into the culture and rhythm of your company so that they continue long after you leave.
Now is the time to figure out what you want for the future of your business. It might be one of these three goals, or it might be something entirely different. Your business won’t always have you, but with a little bit of planning today, your future exit can accomplish all you ever hoped it would.